Robert Atkins


Robert Atkins, also known as Dr. Robert Coleman Atkins MD, was a doctor (nutritionist, American physician and cardiologist) from the United States.

Born - October 17, 1930 Columbus, Ohio.

Died - April 17, 2003 (aged 72) in New York City.

Known for –

  • Doctor Atkins diet study

  • Ketosis research

  • A number of best selling dieting books

Before his accidental death in 2003 he made a popular but controversial way of dieting - the Atkins Nutritional Approach (Doctor Atkins Diet) - that employed the use of low carbohydrate, high fat and high protein foods.

Dr Robert Atkins reference base was reportedly the Journal of the American Medical Association. He successfully used his diet on himself and ten of thousands patients before he began writing about it in a series of books.


Father - restaurants owner in Ohio.

Dr Atkins graduated University of Michigan in 1951, received medical doctorate from Cornell Medical College in 1955.

Specialized in cardiology and complementary medicine.

Married his wife Veronica when he was 56.

Learned the art of using herbal supplements instead of pharmaceutical medications, including those conditions such as acne, depression, cancer and carpal tunnel syndrome.

Opened an office in the Upper East Side in New York in 1959.

In April 2002, Atkins suffered a heart attack, which the American Heart Association linked to the Atkins diet, but Atkins stated that his cardiac arrest was due to a chronic infection.

On April 8, 2003, at age 72, a day after a major snowstorm in New York, Dr Atkins slipped on ice while walking to work, hitting his head and causing bleeding around his brain. He lost consciousness and went into a coma on the way to the hospital.

He spent nine days in intensive care, before dying on April 17, 2003. When his autopsy report was released, the findings showed that Dr Robert Atkins himself would have been considered obese at the time of his death. The family stated he didn't weigh that much at the time of the fall but that he had retained fluids while in the hospital.


In 1963 Robert Atkins weighed 100 kg (224 pounds). He successfully lost weight by following low-starch diet based on the work of Alfred W. Pennington. This popular but very controversial method of dieting he repeated with 65 of his overweight patients.

In 1965 he appeared on the Tonight show. After Vogue article in 1970 his diet became known as the 'Vogue diet'.

Atkins published Dr. Atkins' Diet Revolution in 1972, which soon sold millions of copies. This book was contrary to the recommendations of most nutritional experts of the era. His followers believed he was a pioneer and his book were followed by other best sellers.

Founded the Atkins diet Center for Complementary Medicine in Manhattan, New York.

Dr Atkins diet Center had 87 employees in the 1990s. Treated over 50,000 patients.

Founded Atkins Nutritionals in 1998 to promote his low carbohydrate Atkins diet food plan, with revenue of $100 million.

He published Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution in 1992, which again became a best-seller.

Atkins said that "carbohydrate is the bad guy". If body overproduce the hormone insulin it causes a condition called hyperinsulinism, which metabolizes blood glucose and that makes people feel hungry. He felt that an individual can lose weight by eating fat and by not restricting calories. He believed that diabetes and obesity are closely linked, calling them "di-obesity", the title of a book he was working on when he died.

In January of 2003 diet detractors said that his diet was dangerous. In response, Dr. Robert Atkins told CNN:

"See, that's a big mistake ... to tell people to restrict calories."

"They lose the weight, they feel fine, then they get to their goal weight and they still have 60 more years to live, and are they going to go hungry for all 60 years?"

Return from Robert Atkins to Atkins Nutritional Approach

Go to Free Atkins Diet Home Page

Atkins Diet Plan:


Ongoing Weight Loss


Lifetime Maintenance

Free Atkins Diet E-zine

Enter Your E-mail Address
Enter Your First Name (optional)

Don't worry — your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you Atkins Diet Lovers.